Riverside has a habit of being pulled in two directions. Into the past and into the future. Currently this dynamic is being played out with steady and positive efforts to revitalize a downtown that has long needed some juice. Tugging the opposite way has been this nagging surety that cars are driving too fast on the winding streets and the village is being used as a pass-through for drivers looking to make time.
So it was a wise decision by the village to test these assumptions and presumptions with a full-scale traffic study by a legitimate third party. The results are now in (and available online at the village’s website). They tell a calming story and then offer up a series of recommendations for the village board to consider as it balances competing priorities and eras.
Auto traffic is, for the most part, right around the norm throughout Riverside. Residential street traffic was within normal ranges. Where it was a bit high it was more likely owing to school-related traffic than outsiders looking for a shortcut.
The consultant tells us that we need to balance a desire to expose our downtown to more people against any traffic-dampening strategy. There are also ideas on stepped-up efforts to welcome bikes to the streets.
All in all, this was money well spent. And it sets up a good basis for decisions to come.